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New approaches to long-standing questions: adaptation in Drosophila

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "DROSADAPTATION" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CALLE SERRANO 117
city: MADRID
postcode: 28006

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙392˙521 €
 EC max contribution 2˙392˙521 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-01-01   to  2020-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Understanding how organisms adapt to their environments is a long-standing problem in Biology with far-reaching implications: adaptation affects the ability of species to survive in changing environments, host-pathogen interactions, and resistance to pesticides and drugs. Despite recent progress, adaptation is to date a poorly understood process largely due to limitations of current approaches that focus (i) on a priori candidate genes, (ii) on signals of selection at the DNA level without functional validation of the identified candidates, and (iii) on small sets of adaptive mutations that do not represent the variability present in natural populations. As a result, major questions such as what is the relative importance of different types of mutations in adaptation?, and what is the importance of epigenetic changes in adaptive evolution?, remain largely unanswered. To gain a deep understanding of adaptation, we need to systematically identify adaptive mutations across space and time, pinpoint their molecular mechanisms and discover their fitness effects. To this end, Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be an ideal organism. Besides the battery of genetic tools and resources available, D. melanogaster has recently adapted to live in out of Africa environments. We and others have already shown that transposable elements (TEs) have substantially contributed to the adaptation of D. melanogaster to different environmental challenges. Here, we propose to use state-of-the-art techniques, such as Illumina TruSeq sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, to systematically identify and characterize in detail adaptive TE insertions in D. melanogaster natural populations. Only by moving from gathering anecdotic evidence to applying global approaches, we will be able to start constructing a quantitative and predictive theory of adaptation that will be relevant for other species as well.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Sara Guirao-Rico, Josefa González
Evolutionary insights from large scale resequencing datasets in Drosophila melanogaster
published pages: 70-76, ISSN: 2214-5745, DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.11.002
Current Opinion in Insect Science 31 2020-04-14
2019 Miriam Merenciano, Camillo Iacometti, Josefa González
A unique cluster of roo insertions in the promoter region of a stress response gene in Drosophila melanogaster
published pages: , ISSN: 1759-8753, DOI: 10.1186/s13100-019-0152-9
Mobile DNA 10/1 2020-04-14
2019 Gabriel E. Rech, María Bogaerts-Márquez, Maite G. Barrón, Miriam Merenciano, José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, Vivien Horváth, Anna-Sophie Fiston-Lavier, Isabelle Luyten, Sandeep Venkataram, Hadi Quesneville, Dmitri A. Petrov, Josefa González
Stress response, behavior, and development are shaped by transposable element-induced mutations in Drosophila
published pages: e1007900, ISSN: 1553-7404, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007900
PLOS Genetics 15/2 2020-04-14
2018 Zi-Wen Li, Xing-Hui Hou, Jia-Fu Chen, Yong-Chao Xu, Qiong Wu, Josefa González, Ya-Long Guo
Transposable Elements Contribute to the Adaptation of Arabidopsis thaliana
published pages: 2140-2150, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy171
Genome Biology and Evolution 10/8 2020-04-14
2019 Emmanuelle Lerat, Clément Goubert, Sara Guirao-Rico, Miriam Merenciano, Anne-Béatrice Dufour, Cristina Vieira, Josefa González
Population-specific dynamics and selection patterns of transposable element insertions in European natural populations
published pages: , ISSN: 0962-1083, DOI: 10.1111/mec.14963
Molecular Ecology 2020-04-14

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